Big Data in the Music Industry: Richard Bowman #IJMR2012 #MRX

Welcome to this series of live blogs from the IJMR Research Methods Forum in London. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.

11.15 Big data – Making a difference with consumer insight-generated ‘big data’ in the music industry
Richard Bowman, Artist Development Insight Director, EMI Music

  • The old world – Hits paid for misses
  • Cassettes are dead, LPs are just about dead, CDs took over the world
  • People aren’t paying for music they way they once did
  • In music, it never works like this: consumer research to insight to decisions
  • They combine insight with skills and expertise of their people.  These are evidence based decisions that are owned by everyone. [THAT is how it should be done. Researchers are not specialists in your business.]
  • Insight is not a powerpoint presentation. It’s consulting with the internal experts.
    • Want relevant, valuable, and quick insights for all of their colleagues
    • It needs to be powerful, broad, global, and repeatable [there’s that annoying reliability thing again]
    • Must add to shared language and guide decision making
  • Can market research produce big data? They have spoken to 1 million people in 3 years. That comes out of 100 people surveys and 6 people focus groups. At any point, they are interviewing 12 people somewhere in the world.
  • Inferior research is not an option [Question: are British researchers more concerned with validity and reliability or is it just this single conference? I liiiiiiike it!]
  • The key skill is the people, not the technology
  • They have ONE database per function containing ALL global data they’ve every worked with  [that’s exactly how it should be!]
  • New analysis technique: contest where anyone could analyze a set of data that they provided – e.g., July 2012 hackathon
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